Language and Communication (L&C)



Language and Communication (L&C), an interdisciplinary programme within the Faculty of Arts, centres on the study and use of language in society in a multilingual, globalised world, with a particular focus on the positioning of languages of global import, such as English, as well as those with local significance, in how they are appropriated in multilingual, cosmopolitan contexts of Asia. The programme provides the theoretical foundations and applied contexts for understanding and addressing linguistic and social questions of language and communication. It equips students with the intellectual and practical tools to critically examine, intelligently reflect on, and competently participate in communicative situations, in real-world contexts, such as in the workplace as well as in more informal sites of multilingual communication. Both traditional as well as experiential learning, such as fieldwork and internships, are pursued. Fulfilling a need in society for linguistically versatile and culturally sensitive leaders in the 21st-century knowledge economy of Asia's world city and beyond, the programme prepares students with an appreciation of communicative competence. The programme also aims at honing of transferable skills for a wide range of careers, including education, editing and publishing, public administration, public relations, marketing, the media, tourism, and cultural affairs.

Programme Outcomes

Students who declare a major or minor in Language and Communication will:

Identify and critique relevant issues in the study of language and communication, and apply theoretical and methodological knowledge to real-world social and linguistic data;

Critically evaluate established knowledge and creatively apply it to novel, contemporary contexts of communication, in this multilingual, globalised world, in particular in the settings of Hong Kong and Asia;

Identify, appreciate and critically examine the role of diversity in languages and communicative strategies across cultures and time, and how this shapes one's linguistic identity and comes to bear upon communicative situations, drawing on cross-cultural perspectives in the study of language and communication;

Use the necessary intellectual, communicative and practical skills to participate in intellectual discussions of socio/linguistic issues and collaborate productively in research projects;

Demonstrate an understanding of the complexities of contemporary social and political issues of language and communication in the context of globalization - such as the positioning of languages of global significance, in particular English, in how they are appropriated in multilingual, cosmopolitan contexts of Asia, and the fine balance struck with other local languages for sustainability - which allows for intelligent, significant and responsible contributions to society.


Admission to the first year is on the basis of academic record including at least a minimum C grade in the Use of English AS-level exam or its equivalent.

Important notice: Non-JUPAS students intending to enroll in any of the first-year courses offered by the School of English (ENGL1009, ENGL1010 or LCOM1001) are required to submit a copy of their past examination results (such as AS-level, IELTS, TOEFL, GCSE, IB Diploma, National Higher Education Entrance Examination, etc.) to the School Office (Room 114, Main Building or fax to 2559 7139) as soon as possible (after the course selection was made online) but in any event not later than Friday, August 19, 2011 for the Head's consideration.

Students intending to major or minor in Language and Communication must pass the first-year prerequisite course LCOM1001 with a satisfactory result of at least a C grade.


Syllabus for students admitted in 2011-12

First Year Course

Students intending to declare a major or minor in Language and Communication must pass the first-year prerequisite course LCOM1001 Introduction to language and communication (6 credits) with a satisfactory result of at least a C grade.

LCOM1001. Introduction to language and communication (6 credits) (on offer in the second semester, 2010-11)


Students who declare a major or minor in Language and Communication and have passed LCOM1001 at grade C or above will be given a waiver of "ENGL1009. Introduction to English studies" and "LING1001. Introduction to Linguistics" for taking senior ENGL and LING courses as listed in the curriculum below.

Students should check with individual departments about the actual course offerings, updated course information including pre-requisite(s) for electives to be met unless otherwise waived.

Second and Third Year Courses

The Major in Language and Communication consists of 54 credits taken in the second and third years of the programme. This comprises 12 credits of core courses (LCOM2001 and LCOM3001); and 42 credits of electives in the manner specified below.

The Minor in Language and Communication consists of 30 credits taken in the second and third years of the programme. This comprises 6 credits of core course (LCOM2001 or LCOM3001); and 24 credits of electives (including at least one 6-credit LCOM course).

An optional capstone experience for advanced students is provided by elective final-year research, lecture and seminar courses.


Core Courses

The following core courses are compulsory for all students taking the major:
LCOM2001. Theories of language and communication (6 credits) (to be taken in the second year)
LCOM3001. Cultural dimensions of language and communication (6 credits)

Elective Courses
Students majoring in Language and Communication must complete a total of 42 credits in elective courses from the list below. Courses must be taken from at least 3 different majors in the list and must include at least 12 credits from LCOM courses and at least 12 credits from ENGL courses.



CHIN2331. Choice of words in translation (6 credits)
CHIN2332. Translation in Hong Kong society (6 credits)
CHIN2333. Culture and translation (6 credits)
CHIN2334. Power of speech in written translation (6 credits)
CHIN2336. Interpretation workshop I (6 credits)
CHIN2339. Translation for administration and business (6 credits)
CHIN2340. Film translation workshop (6 credits)
CHIN2341. Translating writings on art (6 credits)
CHIN2342. Interpretation workshop II (6 credits)
CHIN2343. Legal interpreting (6 credits)
CHIN2344. Short stories: East and West (6 credits)
CHIN2345. Syntax-based translation (6 credits)

Comparative Literature

CLIT2050. Globalization and culture (6 credits)

English Studies

ENGL2002. Language in society (6 credits)
ENGL2030. World Englishes (6 credits)
ENGL2031. The semantics and pragmatics of English (6 credits)
ENGL2039. Language and gender (6 credits)
ENGL2047. English discourse structures and strategies (6 credits)
ENGL2048. Language and jargon (6 credits)
ENGL2054. Race, language and identity (6 credits)
ENGL2065. Meaning and metaphor (6 credits)
ENGL2087. Persuasion (6 credits)
ENGL2099. Language, identity, and Asian Americans (6 credits)
ENGL2104. Language in the USA (6 credits)
ENGL2123. Language and identity in Hong Kong (6 credits)
ENGL2126. Law, meaning and interpretation (6 credits)
ENGL2127. Legal discourse and the mind (6 credits)
ENGL2129. English as a language of science (6 credits)
ENGL2130. Signs, language and meaning: integrational reflections (6 credits)
ENGL3036. Research seminar in English linguistics (6 credits)
ENGL3037. Research seminar in language and society (6 credits)

Japanese Studies

JAPN2031. The media and Japan (6 credits)
JAPN2039. Negotiation and conflict resolution: a cross-cultural perspective (6 credits)

Language and Communication

LCOM2002. Language in the workplace (6 credits)
LCOM2003. Language and politeness (6 credits)
LCOM2004. Language, communication and the media (6 credits) [Non permissible combinations: ENGL2103]

LCOM2005. Language, communication and globalisation: Politics, peril, pop (6 credits)
LCOM2006. Language and communication field trip (6 credits) [course offering will be subject to student enrolment]
LCOM3003. LCOM Papers: Writing for, editing, and producing an academic e-journal (12 credits)


LING2009. Languages of the world (6 credits)
LING2040. Languages in contact (6 credits)
LING2041. Language and information technology (6 credits)
LING2056. Sociolinguistics (6 credits)

**As indicated in the L&C curriculum for 2011/12, students majoring/minoring in L&C can enrol in those senior ENGL and LING courses listed in the L&C curriculum without having to do the pre-requisites ENGL1009 and LING1001 respectively, as long as they have passed LCOM1001 with a minimum C grade. However, because the computer system is unable to deal with such a waiver, for enrolling in any of the 4 LING courses, students should send an email to Ms Golly Lo [] in the Department of Linguistics office and cc Ms Michelle Wong [] of the School of Humanities office to inform them of their situation, i.e. that they are L&C majors/minors who need to enrol in LING20xx, with LING1001 waived. Ms Lo will then see to their enrolment. If students face further problems, they should contact the School of English's office ( and the L&C coordinator (


PHIL2075. The semantics/pragmatics distinction (6 credits)
PHIL2230. Philosophy and cognitive science (6 credits)
PHIL2410. Mind & language in Chinese thought (6 credits)


Course offerings and time-table

Please see for the courses offered in the fist and second semester of 2011-12 and the updated time-table with classrooms.


Special Honours Programme

Students who have achieved outstanding academic performance in the first-year course with tutors' recommendation will be invited to become Special Honours candidates, for which they will be given priority for admission to senior LCOM and ENGL courses as listed in the curriculum. Special Honours students majoring in Language and Communication must complete an additional 12 credits in the second and third years beyond the normal requirement, which may include a research focused course, and achieve an average B+ or above in the courses that make up the 66-credit load. Upon completing their programme and meeting the Special Honours requirements, these students will be given special recognition by the School.


Dr L. Lim
School of English
The University of Hong Kong
Pokfulam Road
Hong Kong

Tel: (852) 2859 2871
Fax: (852) 2559 7139


Last updated: 26 July 2011